Pacific Islands Pacific Islands Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON) website Ana Tuivanuavou 2016-06-03T06:19:59Z 2016-06-03T06:19:59Z <div> PIFON, the Sub-Regional Implementing Agency (Pacific) for the Medium Term Cooperation Programme with Farmers' Organisations in Asia and the Pacific, Phase II (MTCP 2) has it's very own website. &nbsp;</div> <div>  </div> <div> The IFAD and SDC funded programme has facilitated the establishment of&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">;</a>which is aimed at achieving the objective of providing its regional farmer organisations with key contacts, information and the technical expertise required to&nbsp;achieve overall viability.</div> <div>  </div> <p> The website is an updated repository of relevant information resources for farmers and farmer organisations (FOs).</p> Ana Tuivanuavou 2016-06-03T06:19:59Z Agriculture, Gender, and the Rural-Urban continuum Tora Galway 2012-12-17T13:31:07Z 2012-12-17T11:55:08Z <p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">Sourcing affordable, nutritious food for their family in urban areas is one of the multiplicity of agriculture-related challenges poor women face in the Pacific Island countries. &nbsp;Growing their own food, and occasionally a little surplus for sale or barter, is a common practice for many urban women. &nbsp;The Rural-Urban continuum is significant in many communities especially because of the small size of the towns and the substantial flow of people between the towns and villages.</span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">This has been clearly identified in the 2012 Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography, published by&nbsp;UN Women, entitled:<span class="apple-converted-space" style="">&nbsp;</span><a href="" target="_blank">Rural Pacific Island Women and Agriculture, Evidence, Data and Knowledge in Pacific Island Countries</a>, which states:<br /> “Agricultural production is not limited to women in rural areas, as women in towns and cities may also use available land to cultivate food crops to offset the high costs of purchasing healthy foods. (Barber, 2010; Thaman, 2000; Thaman, Elevitch &amp; Kennedy, 2006)” (p.11)</span></span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">A large international community of development practitioners has been addressing the related issues with various policy papers and discussion groups. &nbsp;It is based in IFAD's partner<span class="apple-converted-space" style="">&nbsp;</span><a href="" target="_blank">FAO</a>. &nbsp;This group is known as Food-for-the-Cities, with specific subgroups, including one which concerns itself with production, known as<br /> <a href="" target="_blank">Urban and peri urban agriculture (UPA) of&nbsp;Food-for-the-Cities</a></span></span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">As identified by them:<br /> "Key issues include: the health and sanitary implications of UPA; the land use dynamics caused by the encroachment of urban areas into agricultural areas; the interdependencies between rural and UPA; the credit and other input constraints of poor urban and periurban farmers; integrated crop and animal production systems; the involvement of women in UPA; and the associated requirements for marketing and distribution."</span></span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></p> Tora Galway 2012-12-17T11:55:08Z Fijis 2013 Budget Increases Allocation to Agriculture Sakiusa Tubuna 2012-11-26T23:03:30Z 2012-11-26T23:02:39Z <p> Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture has been allocated $FD51,605,000 ($USD 29m) an increase of $USD500,000 from the 2012 allocation.&nbsp; Major capital projects that will be undertaken next year include the Export Promotion Project $1.0m.&nbsp; Food Security Project $1.0m and the Rice Revitalizations Project $1.5m.</p> <p> Agriculture is a vital sector of the economy and Fiji needs to do what we can to help the nations farmers maintain a productive and efficient agricultural sector says Commodore Frank Bainimarama Fiji’s Prime Minister and Minister for Finance when announcing the 2013 Budget last week.</p> <p> Commodore Bainimarama also announced a new initiative to encourage young people to become farmers through the established of a scholarship program in which high school graduates will attend a 12 month certificate course in agriculture which will train them in all facets of agricultural production.&nbsp; Upon graduation, each student will receive a loan package to the value of $USD30,000 to cover the cost of land, farming implements and agricultural inputs, a farm house and startup capital.&nbsp; The Fiji Government hopes that the initiative will attract many young people to become farmers.</p> Sakiusa Tubuna 2012-11-26T23:02:39Z Smart Financing in the Pacific Dan Vadnjal 2012-11-17T23:59:05Z 2012-11-17T23:55:41Z <p>  </p> <p> Peter M. lives and works in Auki, the capital of Malaita Province, in the Solomon Islands.&nbsp; He’s a beneficiary of the Rural Development Programme (RDP) a $30 million initiative co-financed by the World Bank, AusAid, European Union and IFAD, which has been supporting remote communities, rural populations and small businesses since 2009. Peter's core business is collecting copra from local suppliers, crushing and bagging it for animal feed or pressing and processing it into soap bars. In 2010 he received a Supplemental Equity Facility (SEF) grant of $6K, matched it with his own $6K and secured a collateral-based loan of $18K from a local commercial bank. He invested the total - $30K – in a new processing machine. Peter’s been making rapid progress since making the investment, having recently repaid his loan, he collects copra from 10 regular suppliers, had sales worth around $47K in 2010, $54K in 2011 and he predicts a similar increase of around 10-12% in 2012. In his words “… without the SEF probably the bank wouldn’t have given me a loan … now I’m making decent money and I’m ready to expand again … this time I probably have enough of my own money to invest.”</p> <p> The SEF is smart because it uses quite small amounts of programme funds to leverage relatively large sums of private – business and bank – money. But it is also smart because it relies on the banks to screen applications, in accordance with both programme and bank criteria, and to manage the repayment of loans; this reduces the programme management costs to a minimum, which is significant because the costs of managing programmes in the Pacific tend to far exceed those in other developing parts of the world.</p> Dan Vadnjal 2012-11-17T23:55:41Z IFAD strategy presented at Pacific CSO Forum Sakiusa Tubuna 2012-11-14T05:43:59Z 2012-11-14T05:37:26Z <p> The draft &nbsp;IFAD Strategic Opportunities &nbsp;Programme(SRESOP) 2013-18 was presented &nbsp;by Pacific Island Sub Regional Coordinator Sakiusa Tubuna at the Pacific Regional CSO Partnership Meeting for Development Effectiveness that was held &nbsp;recently in Nadi &nbsp;Fiji.</p> <p> The meeting was attended by 40 representatives of CSOs from 16 Pacific Island countries.</p> <p> During the meeting the CSO representatives shared their views and experiences on the issues that they think should be included in the new SRESOP. Some of the areas that have been highlighted by the representatives of Pacific CSOs include the need to empower rural communities, food security and increasing local food production, sustainable financing systems for smallholder farmers , addressing the needs of women and youth and the promotion of traditional agriculture farming systems to mitigate against the impacts of climate change particularly in the low lying island states in the region. They also raised the need for IFAD to work with regional CSO’s such as Pacific Islands Association of Non Government Orgarnisations (PIANGO)in the implementation of its future programmes in the Pacific.</p> <p> While opening the meeting, The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Deputy Secretary General Ms &nbsp;Andie Fong Toy. assured Civil Society Organisations that they won’t be ignored in the review of the Pacific Plan.“We now have better appreciation of CSOs and you won’t be ignored in the review of the Pacific Plan,” said Deputy Secretary General of PIFS Andie Fong Toy.</p> <p> Ms Fong Toy said the Pacific Plan review would be headed by former PNG premier Sir Mekere Morauta who had been mandated during the Pacific Leaders meeting in Rarotonga to visit and consult each 16 Forum island states.</p> <p> “The intention of the review will be independent, transparent and build on our collective experience and wisdom to fashion a Pacific Plan that is fit for purpose and reflects our development context of today and for the next decade,” she said.</p> <p> “As equal actors we have a responsibility to ensure that development is delivered sustainably, effectively and transparently.”</p> <p> Ms Fong Toy said consultations for the review would begin in December before country visits and consultation would be held from next year before a report was tabled during the Pacific Leaders meeting in September in Majuro.</p> <p> Ms Fong Toy commended PIANGO’s leadership in ensuring that Pacific civil society voice was heard at the Fourth High Level Forum in Aid Effectiveness in Busan last year.</p> <p> “In many ways the Busan meeting was a watershed for global thinking on development effectiveness, in particular that it specifically recognized the important role that civil society must play to improve effectiveness,” she said.</p> <p> The meeting also received a report on PIANGO’s role in the lead up to the Busan meeting and post-Busan challenges and opportunities for national and regional CSO actors and their role in taking ownership for development.</p> Sakiusa Tubuna 2012-11-14T05:37:26Z The delivery challenge - getting goods to remote rural communities in the Pacific Islands Dan Vadnjal 2012-11-15T09:29:48Z 2012-11-11T23:07:01Z <p> One of the biggest challenges for agriculture and rural development projects in the Pacific Islands, especially those with a strong community-driven development agenda, is the effective and efficient delivery of goods and services to remote rural communities.</p> <p> Delivering social infrastructure, in the Solomon Islands Rural Development Project (RDP), for instance, has proven to be time consuming and expensive. In the RDP communities are given the responsibility not only for selecting, designing and building infrastructure, but also for procuring their own goods (e.g. timber for a school, pipes for a water supply, cement for a wharf). Seems simple enough but consider procurement typically involves one or more members of a community traveling to Honiara, getting at least 3 quotations, submitting these to the project office for approval, placing the order, and if the communities lucky enough having the goods delivered to their door step, or at least their beach front. What might otherwise take days or weeks takes months, sometimes as long as 6 months or more, and can involve repeat visits to Honiara to clear up unresolved procurement matters.</p> <p> As a result the delivery of social infrastructure component of the RDP is not only behind schedule but is also proving to be very expensive. A simple solution would, possibly, be to have the project rather than communities do the procurement. It would certainly save time and money especially if the project could bulk purchase goods. However, while attractive, it could also undermine the community-development agenda of the project. After all the idea is to enable communities not the project to manage their own development, which happens to include procuring their own goods.</p> <p> The RDP comes to an end pending an extension in 2014 and plans are already afoot to design the next phase. IFAD and it's partners, if they are going to get a bigger community development bang for their buck, are going to need to take a serious look at the procurement issue. May be there is a case for compromising on the community-driven development agenda if simply for the sake of achieving more effective and efficient delivery of much needed infrastructure to remote rural communities, in the Solomon Islands and elsewhere in the Pacific for that matter.</p> Dan Vadnjal 2012-11-11T23:07:01Z Change and Continuity in the IFAD Pacific Islands Programme Chase Palmeri 2012-09-01T14:14:55Z 2012-08-31T14:17:06Z <p> As many of IFAD stakeholders will know by now, as of 14 August the responsibility for the IFAD programme in the Pacific was shifted from Ron Hartman to me.&nbsp;&nbsp;As the new Country Programme Manager I am delighted for this chance to serve our Member States in the region (now including Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tonga - with membership for Nauru and Tuvalu in the works). However, I recognise that it wont be easy to fill Ron's shoes.&nbsp;&nbsp;Ron is a vital part of the Asia and the Pacific Division at IFAD and has pioneered important efforts to push hard for results management and making sure that everything we do translates into results and outcomes that ultimately benefit&nbsp;the people living and working in remote rural communities where IFAD-financed activities are set.&nbsp;</p> <p> As the new Country Programme Manager I am also committed to that.&nbsp;&nbsp;And, I will&nbsp;follow through on commitments that Ron has made to partners in the Pacific on behalf of IFAD.&nbsp;&nbsp;Ron and I will be working with Sakiusa Tubuna to achieve a smooth handover, to follow up on all initiatives underway, and to respect the engagements already taken with partners and stakeholders in the region. So I believe that those of you who have worked with Ron will find a strong sense of continuity in IFAD's work as we go ahead together.</p> <p> Naturally, this transition also provides the opportunity for&nbsp;change, based on the lessons&nbsp;learned and knowledge acquired in investing IFAD resources.&nbsp;&nbsp;The on-going process of mapping out a new&nbsp;Sub-Regional Strategic Opportunities Paper, (SRESOP) for 2013-2018 being facilitated by IFAD consultant David Young will provide&nbsp;us all with&nbsp;the chance to adjust our approach and agree together on&nbsp;any necessary revisions&nbsp;based on our experience and changing conditions in the Pacific today</p> <p> In terms of working style, one slight difference&nbsp;that you will find is that I will be using this online space as my main vehicle for communicating with stakeholders and partners in the region when we are not face to face&nbsp;and working in different time zones which&nbsp;- given the remote nature of the Italian peninsula with respect to the Padfic Ocean community - is likely to be much of the time.&nbsp;I know that telephone calls, skype and&nbsp;emails will still have to be part of the working arrangements, but I think that there can be&nbsp;benefits to&nbsp;working in a collaborative&nbsp;environment online when&nbsp;internet connectivity makes this possible.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> In this connection, I would like to invite everyone&nbsp;that is working&nbsp;with or&nbsp;interested in IFAD's work in the Pacific to do the same.&nbsp;&nbsp;Engage in&nbsp;the portal, contribute&nbsp;your&nbsp;ideas, documents, resources.&nbsp;announcements, news, photos. I am convinced we wil all benefit.</p> Chase Palmeri 2012-08-31T14:17:06Z